resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Massage Chairs: Fad, Fixture or Therapeutic Tool?
By Raymond Blaylock
The debate goes on. Some people still consider massage chairs, and the work performed on them, a form of "fluff and buff" massage, not true therapeutic massage. Some would offer that seated massage is a good marketing tool to get people into the office or clinic to get some "real" massage.
My original introduction to the use of a massage chair was during a time when my practice was located within a physical therapy rehab center in Monterey, Calif. So my frame of reference to the use of a massage chair was for people who were so physically uncomfortable that it was not possible for them to lie down on a table. In some instances my initial work was done with them on a stool. Certain types of dysfunction such as whiplash, rotator cuff injury rehab and low back discomfort seemed to present instances where the positioning on a massage chair made the massage work easier to perform and less of an energy drain on my body.
The original massage chairs in this country, and all chairs since (save for a couple of exceptions), have been designed on the concept of the back-saver chair that became popular in the early 1980s. You remember the design; a chair with no back and a slanted seat with slanted kneepads for the legs. The design was the brainchild of a Danish orthopedist, with the thought being in this position you could not "slouch" and your vertebrae were "stacked" in a fairly straight column. The chair was done for people who were spending many hours sitting at a desk doing repetitive motions with their hands above their waists, and developing the compensatory low back discomfort and cervical immobility that is associated with that type of position.
The Danish orthopedist theorized that the position in the back-saver chair relieved about 70 percent of the pressure at L-5, S-1. Although the back-saver chairs never became a large market, home versions were developed, and high-tech Sharper Image versions exist today, but research never could verify the stated hypothesis.
My experience has been that it is an effective position for individuals with low back pain. At just about every show that I have ever done over the last 17 years, I have had at least one individual who was complaining of low back discomfort tell me that the discomfort had significantly subsided after they had sat down on the chair, many times before I had even had them lean forward into the chest pad and headrest.
In the rehab setting, the chair was very significant in that I could get the chair to fit each individual according to his or her body size and type. I could put them into a supported position with the weight and pressure off L-5,S-1. A two-fold advantage exists due to the seat and leg position design of the chair and the effect on the lumbar area; and the weight and pressure release on the cervical area, due to the position and support of the head in the adjustable headrest. When the client is properly positioned, the spine is in this supported position allowing the muscles of the client's back and neck to relax, releasing biomechanical tension. The spine is ideally reasonably straight after you adjust the client in the chair with a line drawn along the lateral body from the center of the ear through the greater trochanter. The pressure on the cervical area and the lumbar region is reduced dramatically. Actually, in this position you can usually detect hypertonic tissue like a "speed bump." Plus, I think that if you just left them in the chair for 10-15 minutes in this position they would experience a certain level of release without even putting your hands on their bodies. When we do begin to use our hands, the position in the chair has helped them to become relaxed and has already relieved some of the existing tension in the cervical area and the lumbar region. In effect, the chair has already done some of the work for us.
I have found that most upper body work can be performed in a massage chair more efficiently, with about a quarter to a half the energy expenditure on my part needed for table work. For some of the work on the hand, arm and shoulders, I can actually sit down while being incredibly effective.
It has been said, "You can't build a house with just a hammer." I am assuming this would include "remodeling," too. For myself, after 36 years of doing bodywork, I know I need tools to assist me in my continued proficiency and longevity in this profession.
Perhaps it is time for you to take another look at the massage chair in a different light. When I say we can do business everywhere, what about other countries and customs related to touch? Take a look at this link to a Web site called the Business of Touch: www.businessoftouch.com.
Raymond Blaylock, practitioner and educator, is the director of education at the Touch Resource Institute. He may be contacted by email
or through his Web site: www.mytouchresources.com.
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